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South Africa is on the brink of introducing a system of carbon taxes, and in May 2013 the treasury published the carbon tax policy paper for public comment. The paper has indeed attracted a great deal of comment in the media. Predictably, all the comment has been negative, with criticism leveled against the tax proposal itself, the manner in which it will be introduced, the reasons given for its introduction, the levels of taxation and many other issues… (more)


Treasury has made a proposal that there should be a carbon tax in South Africa. In its discussion paper, the rationale for the tax is given as “Climate change and its effects are the result of GHG emissions, which are not paid for by the emitters. Such emissions impose external costs on society – an “externality” in economic terms. Because these costs have not been factored into the prices of goods and services, this is a “market failure”, which can be corrected by a pricing instrument.” But greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions are global, and the South African contribution is minor… (more)

The Treasury has announced it’s proposal to introduce a “carbon tax”, with the stated aim of reducing CO2 dioxide emmissions and facilitating the move to a “low carbon” future. The nature of the power generation industry in South Africa is such that neither financial incentives or penalties, such as taxes, can have any effect on the utility and how it generates power, and implementing the proposal will result in just another tax… (more)

Allow me to disabuse your erudite readers of the notion that I am a stark-raving green lunatic who would rather plaster solar panels all over the country-side than preserve nasty, smelly carbon-dioxide-spewing coal fired power stations that will cook the earth. At least that is the impression one might have – incorrectly – gained upon reading my remarks on the proposed carbon tax. Nothing is further from the truth… (more)

A phrase used at a recent workshop in support of energy savings was “The cheapest kWh is the one you don’t use”. With the warning of energy shortfalls, and the call from Eskom to use whatever additional sources of own and standby generation that can be activated to lessen the possibility of power cuts, the appropriate slogan for 2011 may be “The most expensive kWh is the one you don’t have”… (more)

Your excellent publication is to be congratulated for putting sustainable energy so firmly on the agenda, although I fear it will be a tough task to keep the flag flying high. Business, it seems, is more interested, like my old partner Scrooge, in turning a fast penny (and so do politicians, I fear).  But there is hope yet – remember that even grumpy Scrooge ended up having Christmas turkey with the Cratchits. So I will persist in rattling my chains and making your erudite readers think not about what might have been, but what can be if men (and women, I dare say) of sound mind thought about the future they really wanted and did what really needed to be done… (more)

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